W. o’ W.: Gyorgi Ligeti

Ligeti wrote: I lay my ten fingers on the keyboard and imagine music. My fingers copy this mental image as I press the keys, but this copy is very inexact: a feedback emerges between ideas and tactile/motor execution. This feedback loop repeats itself many times, enriched by provisional sketches:  a mill wheel turns between my inner ear, my fingers and the marks on the paper.  The result sounds completely different from my intial conceptions:  the anatomical reality of my hands and the configuration of the piano keyboard have transformed my imaginary constructs.


Ligeti said: “The music from the ‘Sonata form’ tradition, the big symphonic enterprises: all of this belongs to the German tradition, which was the strongest tradition in the 19th century. But even then, Paris was a cultural capital. Of course, Debussy had undertaken a decisive revolution in the beginning of the 20th century. But jazz arrived (and, before it, ragtime, Scott Joplin) and imposed a combination  of influences – it is not African, nor Irish nor French, not even American – it’s everything all together, the first musical expression to be multicultural. Shortly after there is a popular dimension in jazz, notably with Armstrong.  I find this very interesting because it is spontaneously creative, distant to today’s commercial phenomenons that are designing popular culture. At the turn of the 30’s, jazz was a unique and spontaneous explosion, the most beautiful stylistic expression of the century. I don’t know if it is still possible that an art of this importance can continue to develop because marketing now instantly grabs new musical forms from the street.”

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